Ester Brym

Butterflies is a feature documentary film following

the lives of six young people that are prominent  'weblebrities' on the video site YouTube. The film

explores the new media, its power and its future.

Will the Internet overcome traditional media?

Will new media and traditional media merge?

The film documents the struggles and successes

of characters Lisanova, Mr. Safety, Davedays,

Boh3m3, Olgakay and Xgobobeanx and their

hopes to become the new 'virtual' celebrities.

















Chris Felver with filmmaker Ester Brym


Ester Brym (pronounced bree-m) (born 4 September 1978 in Prague, Czech Republic)  is a film director, producer and editor.

In 1997 she moved to New York City to pursue studies in film-making. She worked as an editor in independent cinema until 2008 when she decided to move to Los Angeles to direct her first feature film Butterflies”.

Butterflies, a documentary about YouTubers, is the first film that puts YouTube on a big screen and introduces the world of new and social media. "Butterflies is the first film, that profiles the life of Internet celebrity as a new phenomenon," says journalist Veronika Bednářová in her article in Reflex

Butterflies has premiered at Action on Film International Film Festival in Pasadena, California on 27 July 2009 and have won the Alan J. Bailey Excellence Award in Documentary Filmmaking. It was nominated for Best Social Commentary at AOF. The film also received Best Documentary award at the Valley Film Festival and Best Entertainment Doc and First Glance film festival in Philadephia.

She has been heavily involved with the social networking movement profiling and studying the lives of online personalities.  Together with producer Tom Duty they currently work on their second feature film about the community of Route 66 as well as showing Brym's short film 12 Hours at festivals this summer.

Ester Brym lives in Los Angeles and works as a freelance editor and new media consultant. She also participates in variety of new media & digital campaigns for example Ridley Scott's digital feature experiment Life in a Day, Million for Million where her video was the first one in the country to reach 1,000,000 views, Other projects Brym is involved in are A1 Steak Sauce promo song, Tribeca Pitch Competition and Chinaski band documentary to name a few.



In order to gather her audience, Brym uses a combination of Vlogs on her own

YouTube channel (over 1,500 subscribers), Twitter (over 800 followers), and Facebook  (over 900 fans). “I use all the possible sites I know of really. Facebook,

MySpace, Linkedin, YouTube, Twitter, DailyBooth, Tumbler, Flikr, fest21, Fans of Film (FOF),, Shooting People and we also have a Wikipedia page. I give major importance to YouTube, Twitter and Facebook because that's where our audience is concentrated and the chances for getting the message out there with the help of the other filmmakers and YouTubers are the biggest with those sites. We also have a website that is maintained by the film's producer, Tom Duty, where fans can sign up and get regular updates via email,” says Brym.

Ester discussing her film after screeing

“In the beginning I contacted a few YouTubers I was interested in,” she says. “I did sit-down interviews; the people I interviewed were not necessarily big YouTubers but it got the word out. It built the publicity around it. Then, every time an event would happen, I was able to get a press pass and go shoot. The way the trailer was constructed was to cater to the YouTube community – I’m showing bigger YouTubers in the trailer even though the film is more in-depth than that. But obviously the trailer is trying to get as much attention as possible.

“What YouTube is trying to do now is to break into this part of the business. After they posted the Sundance films, our film was already done, but they were not offering the service to outsiders. I started thinking about that. We already had a distributor at that point but we had kept our digital rights. I kept thinking it would be really great if we could launch on YouTube, because this is what the film is about. It’s where our audience is, and we could promote it that way – we could start a new part of history when it comes to digital distribution. I emailed YouTube a few months later to see if this would be a possibility, and they weren’t ready yet, it was a kind of beta thing where they didn’t have everything set up.

“Then (YouTube) decided to put the SXSW films for rent, and I got an email back from them saying Yes, we are ready. That was in February that we launched “Butterflies” on YouTube. If you don’t count the festival films, which were short films, we’re the first feature film doing this.”  

Edward J Delaney






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